Men’s Tennis Hires Eddie Coates As New Assistant Coach
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt men’s tennis coach Ken Flach
announced on Tuesday afternoon the hiring of Eddie Coates
(Cleveland, Tenn.) as the new assistant coach.
“I'm really excited that Eddie is joining our program in
a new capacity,” head coach Ken Flach said. “In the six years
I've been here, he has been one of my best players and now
he is my assistant coach.”
Coates graduated from Vanderbilt in 2001 with a degree in
Human and Organizational Development.
Over his five years with the Commodores’ tennis program,
one of which he sat out due to a major knee injury, Coates
won 127 matches combined in singles and doubles (64 singles,
63 doubles). Coates capped off his collegiate career by qualifying
for the main draw of NCAA Singles Championship. He finished
his senior campaign with a International Tennis Association
(ITA) ranking of No. 53 in singles. His senior season was
capped off my being named second team All-SEC and defeating
six nationally-ranked opponents, including a win over No.
1-ranked Oskar Johansson of Arkansas.
One thing Coates has going for as takes over as assistant
coach is that he was teammates with five players on the active
2002-03 roster. During the 2000-01 season, he was teammates
with present juniors Zach Dailey, Chad Harris, Bobby Reynolds,
Lewis Smith and senior Josh Tarkoff.
“It is a natural progression that you see very often at other
top programs around the country because it makes so much sense,”
Flach said. “Up until now, I haven't had the luxury of being
able to hire one of my own players, but now I've been here
long enough to see a few players graduate that played for
me. Eddie played for me, so we know each other well. He was
a senior when some of our present players were freshman, so
they know him as well. A former player of a program is great
fit because he is already familiar with the school, the city
and the conference. The initiation period and transition go
a lot smoother and quicker bringing back a person that has
already played here.”
The Commodores return every player from their 2001-02 team,
who made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, except
for Jens Frederiksen, who is sitting out the upcoming season
with an injury. Flach and Coates will have three additions
to the roster in University of Michigan transfer Matthew Lockin,
University of Stony Brook transfer Jens Pilgram-Larson and
freshman Greg Sossaman.
Vanderbilt kicks off its Fall season on Friday, September
20, when it competes in the 15th-annual Middle Tennessee State
University Fall Invitational at the Buck Bouldin Tennis Center
in Murfressboro, Tenn. The invitational runs Friday through